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Loftus-Cheek ready to replace Alli

20 Juni 2018 11:22

Ruben Loftus-Cheek said he is ready to start England's second Group G match at the World Cup against Panama if Dele Alli is ruled out through injury.

Alli picked up a thigh strain in England's 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday and his fitness is being monitored ahead of the trip to Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.

Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek played the last 10 minutes of England's opening match, during which period Harry Kane scored a stoppage-time winner, and he said he is ready to be part of Gareth Southgate's starting line-up if called upon.

"I am happy if I start or if I don't," Loftus-Cheek said in an interview on England's official YouTube channel.

"I will be ready to come on again if I get the opportunity."

Reflecting on his positive, attacking approach to his World Cup debut, the 22-year-old said he did what came naturally to him.

"It was a natural instinct when the game is like that, with not long left, to go and be direct and try to make things happen," he said.

"It felt good. When you're playing you don't think about it but after you let it sink in and it's like 'I just played in a World Cup' – it's crazy."

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